NFC North: Detroi Lions
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Were it not for this little quarterback situation, on top of the unfortunate running back issue, the Green Bay Packers were actually headed for a training camp light on drama. If you take a look at their roster, the Packers' most obvious competition is at long-snapper.
That's right. The retirement of Rob Davis has left this job in question for the first time since 1997, as the Green Bay Press-Gazette pointed out. Davis now works in the team's front office. Rookie J.J. Jansen and first-year player Thomas Gafford are competing for the job.
Anytime you have a chance to enter camp with long snapper as your biggest drama, you're doing pretty well. That was the scenario the Packers were facing on June 19, their final day of minicamp before players were dismissed for summer.
The next day, retired quarterback Brett Favre called coach Mike McCarthy and told him he was considering a comeback. (You know how that one's worked out). And as the summer moved along, precious little progress was reported in the contract negotiations of tailback Ryan Grant.
As the Packers open camp Monday with an 8:45 a.m. CT practice, they still are trying to figure out how to deal with Favre's request. And Grant is nowhere near Green Bay, holding out after receiving what his agent termed an "insulting" offer from the Packers late last week.
We're on site and will bring you updates as the day progresses. For now, here's a quick swing through the rest of the NFC North.
- So far, Paris Lenon is holding off rookie Jordon Dizon for the Detroit Lions' middle linebacker job, reports the Detroit Free Press. "...For a rookie to come in and be the starting middle linebacker in this package, it's hard," defensive coordinator Joe Barry said.
- Lions vice-chairman Bill Ford Jr. says players are buying into coach Rod Marinelli's message. "I believe that gives me real faith in this season," Ford told reporters in Detroit. "We haven't had that in the past."
- Who says they're cheap? After signing kick returner/receiver Devin Hester to a four-year contract extension, the Chicago Bears have now signed 10 players to multi-year contracts totaling $185.39 million since February, calculates Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times. That total includes about $59 million in guaranteed money.
- The Bears have taken care of everyone on their roster that deserves it, writes Mike Mulligan of the Sun-Times.
- Defensive end Jared Allen and left tackle Bryant McKinnie are pounding away on each other at Minnesota Vikings training camp.